The Commissioners Court approved 20 properties to receive tax abatements Wednesday, but the owners of the properties were individuals not industrial plants. The 20 properties are residences in Vidor that are part of that city’s Pride and Progress program started a couple of years ago to stimulate residential growth and improve stagnant neighborhoods.
Former Vidor mayor and now Commissioner in Precinct Four Robert Viator brought the properties to the Court for its approval to grant abatements from county taxes. Vidor City Manager Michael Kunst (above) explained that Pride and Progress has been very successful in Vidor granting a one hundred percent tax abatement for the first two years after a home owner purchases the new property with a graduating scale of abatement for the next five years.
Kunst informed the Commissioners in addition to Vidor and Orange County, the Drainage District, the Orange County Water Improvement District #1, and the Port of Orange are part of the program. State law prohibits the Vidor School District from joining the abatements.
Viator was selected by the Commissioners to serve on the Board of Directors of the Orange County Economic Development Corporation (EDC). Viator will serve with Commissioner Johnny Trahan on the board of the EDC.
Orange County will hire a new auditing service. Purchasing Agent Connie Cassidy says her office received five bids from companies to perform auditing services for the county. A Review Committee chose Weaver and Tidwell as the top bidder, and they were approved by the Commissioners Court Wednesday.
The office for the County Commissioner from Precinct Two will no longer be on Highway 62 near Highway 12 in Mauriceville. New Precinct Two Commissioner Theresa Beauchamp said she has visited the location of the old office which was severely damaged during Harvey and wants to move her office to a more central location in the county.
Beauchamp is recommending a location on FM 1442 near the Veterans’ Office. She and the county’s Maintenance Director Kurt Guidry will try to meet in the next week or so to review sizes and types of buildings that could be erected on FM 1442 for her new office.
Representatives for the local headquarters of the American Red Cross met with the Commissioners. Executive Director Chester Jourdan introduced Clint Headwell, Lori Thurman, and District Program Manager Natalie Warren.
The Red Cross has been assisting the citizens in Orange County who are still recovering from the Harvey disaster. Warren has been serving several families locally who have suffered house fires in just the last few weeks. She said fires in residences have been at an increased numbers since Harvey.
Orange County is another step closer to a check in the mail. Michelle Tubbleville told the Commissioners Court during the meeting that Emergency Management Coordinator Joel Ardoin had checked, and the $2.7 million check as reimbursement for cleanup from Harvey has cleared another red-tape hurdle. The check could be just a week away to being mailed to the county.
Operations at the Orange County Airport was taken over by the county last summer. Since then traffic at the airport has increased. More aircraft, more pilots, and more activities are going on there. A special program will be held on Saturday, April 27. The Orange County Airport will host a Fly-In event which should attract a large crowd at the airport between the cities of Orange and Bridge City.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-